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Rationality: Seeing Things What They Truly Are

Rationality simply means to base everything – judgment, perception, action, etc. – on reason. The Stoics believe that the “logos” exist in our reason and therefore regard it as some divine power. It’s the only thing we can control and if we put our energy into it rather than things that outside ourselves, we will live a much better life. They constantly remind us to see things and events for what they truly are and withheld any preconceived biases.

Top  Quotes About Using Your Reason From Ancient Stoics


“Do me the favour, when men surround you and try to talk you into believing that you are unhappy, to consider not what you hear but what you yourself feel, and to take counsel with your feelings and question yourself independently, because you know your own”

“To the stand-bys above, add this one: always to define whatever it is we perceive—to trace its outline—so we can see what it really is: its substance. Stripped bare. As a whole. Unmodified. And to call it by its name—the thing itself and its components, to which it will eventually return.Nothing is so conducive to spiritual growth as this capacity for logical and accurate analysis of everything that happens to us.”

“With regard to whatever objects give you delight, are useful, or are deeply loved, remember to tell yourself of what general nature they are, beginning from the most insignificant things.”

“The mind at times fashions for itself false shapes of evil when there are no signs that point to any evil; it twists into the worst construction some word of doubtful meaning; or it fancies some personal grudge to be more serious than it really is, considering not how angry the enemy is, but to what lengths he may go if he is angry. But life is not worth living, and there is no limit to our sorrows, if we indulge our fears to the greatest possible extent”

“When an expert renders bad news, don’t let the sense of doom foreseen run away with you, but make the essential distinction and tell yourself: “This has nothing to do with ME. It may be the worse for my measly body, or my measly property or my measly family. But any news is good, if I decide it is, because I can make good use of it, whatever it is.”

“Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the Stoics have trouble. Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”

“Men who have made these discoveries before us are not our masters, but our guides. Truth lies open for all; it has not yet been monopolized. And there is plenty of it left even for posterity to discover.”

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